IPVanish versus PIA: Who Wins And Why

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When comparing the rating of IPVanish vs. PIA’s rating, you’ll notice that the two services are similarly praiseworthy. We believe PIA should receive a 4.4 rating out of 5, while IPVanish receives a 4.3 rating.

The two services vary in several ways, despite the similar rating. Depending on which features you value the most, IPVanish may even seem the better choice based on your personal preferences. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of comparisons of each product’s features to help you understand where each product excels.

What Is Similar

The two services have many similar features. This section will highlight several benefits that both VPNs offer. These services have been divided into pros and cons, to better highlight missteps that won’t be solved by choosing one VPN over the other.


  • Handling user data and user tracking
  • Similar customer support
  • Number of protected devices
  • Compatibility with cryptocurrency
  • Servers: the speed of service


Both of these VPNs stand out compared to the competition. These are the features that we think prove both VPNs are taking a step in the right direction. Both products are rated quite highly, so this category is unsurprisingly one of the largest.

Handling User Data and User Tracking

One thing IPVanish and PIA both share is a promise to customers not to track or log user activity. Neither product saves your location or the data of sites you visit, so there's no risk of them selling your data to other companies.

The point of a VPN is to make it harder to track your private data, but many VPNs hide your data from other sites and services while tracking it themselves. Both IPVanish and PIA have a Use It And Lose It, model, though, which immediately removes any data on their end the moment you turn your service or device off.

Similar Customer Support

Although it will be touched on a bit more in the cons, neither product offers live customer service. Though this is a major detriment for both services, they do make up for it.

IPVanish takes a slight edge by offering customer support via an e-mail system. This can feasibly mean they will respond to your questions sooner. Both services have a trouble ticket system, which allows you to write down your issues. When a representative becomes available, they will respond to your ticket. The difference between their response times is minor.

Number of Protected Devices

Each service’s license offers to protect exactly five devices. There’s no point in shopping between the two if you have more or less than five devices. The number is rather generous though, as it could cover a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop with a device to spare.

IPVanish boasts the ability to be utilized with six different platforms. This is an important distinction that may not seem essential but can mean it is an available option for you on devices where PIA would be entirely ineffective.

Compatibility With Cryptocurrency

If you use cryptocurrencies to pay for services than both VPNs offer similar benefits. IPVanish accepts Bitcoin, and the service can be used to protect devices you use to manage your Bitcoin in turn.

When comparing IPVanish vs. PIA, PIA has a slight edge. PIA accepts Bitcoin, but the service is also compatible with other cryptocurrencies. This makes the VPN compatible with a slighter wider audience and market.

Servers: The Speed Of Service

The ability of the servers is one of the most important factors when choosing a VPN. A few factors play a role here, but you will find that both IPVanish and PIA have one thing in common here; the speed of their servers.

IPVanish’s U.S. servers provide decent speeds, easily meeting the current industry’s standard. Unlike other services, their global servers don’t see a significant decrease in speed, so this is one of the best options for those who travel internationally.

PIA has higher U.S. server speeds, so it technically wins this category. Both services stand out when compared to competitors because of their speeds though. Like IPVanish, PIA benefits from strong global servers, which allow you to roam without a drop in service if it’s required.


  • Customer service, again


Although both products were rated highly, neither received a 5-star rating. The cons listed here are their shared missteps and may indicate a poor trend in VPNs in general. In short, these are why both VPNs came up just short of taking the top spot in ratings.

Customer Service, Again

As mentioned, neither service offers live customer support. Considering how integral digital devices are to daily life, a quick response is one of the most important services VPNs can offer.

Both products have an organized ticket system, which is one of the best substitutes for live service. When you submit your problem, a ticket is created, and you may have to wait as customer service representatives work through the log. When they reach your ticket, you will be notified and the ticket updated to illustrate what they've done to handle your situation.

This process is designed to keep you from speaking with a representative as much as possible, so it's a big negative when compared to live service. It's worth noting when comparing IPVanish vs. PIA that both VPNs should look to improve their customer service in the future. It is one of the few glaring weaknesses in the overall high quality of both products.

Key Differences

Having examined the shared features of each product, you should now be curious about what makes each stand out. From here on are the differences of each product, which may help you choose one over the other if you are undecided.


The positive features are often what separate the best option from great products. These are features that both VPNs attempted to address. Both of them managed to handle these features positively, but one of them still managed to handle it better.

IPVanish Offers Better Subscription Options

If you are unsure about VPNs or want to test the waters, then IPVanish stands out. It offers multiple subscription options, which take into account different customers and their situations. You can choose a shorter service, and discontinue it when the time has expired if IPVanish isn't right for you.

PIA only offers its subscription options in terms of monthly plans. There are numerous plans with different monthly subscription lengths, but there’s much less adaptability in their subscription model.

Key Difference: While both services are great, PIA only offers a subscription in a monthly plan while IPVanish offers multiple subscription options

The fact that both products offer multiple subscription options is a Pro for both VPNs. The flexibility of IPVanish gives it a clear edge over the competition, however.

It will also be addressed further below, but IPVanish allows a window for dissatisfied customers to retract their subscription. PIA immediately locks you into any monthly subscription plan and does not offer a similar window if you're overcome with buyer's remorse.


Here you can find the negative elements of both products. These help to highlight why the products are not equal, because while each is lacking in these elements, one has taken more steps to mitigate the problems than the other.

The Pricing Initially Favors IPVanish, But This Depends On The Subscription Plan

IPVanish doesn't offer free trials, which is an obvious negative. The silver lining to this is that once you subscribe, they offer a seven-day money back guarantee if you find the service inadequate.

This applies to all of their plans, so you have an option if you’re dissatisfied with the product. The ability to choose a short subscription also allows you to test the product in the short term, even if it’s not a free trial.

PIA mentioned no free trials or any promise of a money back guarantee. Their subscription model lowers in price as you choose longer options. The lowest price comes when you sign up for a two-year subscription.

This initially means IPVanish is a far more favorable option. You have a small window to avoid becoming entrenched in a long term contract. If you are confident in your purchase though, a long term subscription with PIA becomes the more affordable option.

Wrap Up: IPVanish seems to be the more favorable option with the opportunity to get your money back within seven days if you're not completely satisfied

PIA Is Inadequate For Streaming

If you look at IPVanish vs. PIA when considering streaming services, PIA doesn't compare to its rival. Although it is not allowed on their default servers, IPVanish offers access to Netflix on some of their servers. This is another highlight of the multiple subscriptions plans IPVanish offers.

PIA doesn’t offer reliable access to Netflix on any of their servers. Netflix has always marketed itself as the number one streaming service on the internet, so this is a glaring omission in their services.

If you enjoy streaming media regularly, then IPVanish is the better option. Though it has its limitations, you can seek a Netflix enabled server if you want to stream shows, whereas PIA has given up on this particular feature entirely.

Features That Are Not Shared

In some cases, the two products have shared a feature and handled them in a similar fashion. In others, IPVanish and PIA handled the same feature very differently. This section is to highlight some features that one or the other boasts of, while the other product failed to take that feature into account at all.


These are the things one of the VPNs have done to innovate and get a leg up on their competitor. If they're listed in this Pros section, it means they've been received well and should encourage you to that product.

IPVanish Offers An Easy Kill Switch

VPNs can often be installed on your device as a deeply embedded computer application, and be difficult to remove. IPVanish is designed similar to a phone app and can be easily installed or deleted in just a few clicks.

It also offers a kill switch button to turn it on or off at will. There’s no lengthy deinstallation procedure involved with IPVanish.  When you click to uninstall it, you will remove the IPVanish app from your device entirely. This makes it easy to discontinue the service if you’re unhappy with it without any further hassle.

IPVanish Has Advanced Streaming Options

Normally, the limited servers and unimpressive speed would have cause IPVanish to be ranked lower. It receives its high rating in no small part due to the unique features it offers though. Aside from offering servers that support Netflix streaming, IPVanish can allow you to use Youtube and other streaming services as well.

It also allows you to stream advanced programs, such as video game streaming services. You can use services like PlayStation Now, which stream video games on to your device through the internet, to play games and other media on the fly.

Online gaming is very common, and with this, you can play online games on a VPN server without interruption. If you want to play MMOs, or otherwise connect with friends through games online, IPVanish's servers can support your need.

Servers: Volume of Servers

Ipvanish has a smaller number of servers than its competitors. This is a detriment, plain and simple. If the service comes under load due to a large number of customers, or other circumstances, you will feel it with IPVanish.

PIA doesn’t have an above average number of servers. In this case, matching their competitors is more than enough though. As a result, they are clearly and decisively superior to IPVanish when it comes to providing reliable or private servers, and avoiding overburdened servers.

The Final Verdict

If you compare IPVanish vs. PIA closely, you can see each has standout features. PIA offers less expensive pricing options if you want long term service. It also has higher server speeds, and more servers to avoid overburden. PIA also accepts multiple cryptocurrencies and offers better basic services overall.

IPVanish isn't as good at providing basic services, but it stands out in terms of unique features. It provides servers that support Netflix and can be used for streaming, playing online games, or using video game streaming services. It is also easy to install, has more pricing options, and offers a ticket and e-mail customer support system.

Choose PIA For More Reliable Basic Services

PIA receives a better rating, and emerges as the VPN of choice, because of the reliability it provides. For a VPN, losing service at critical moments or having your service choked due to clogged servers can be the most frustrating issue a customer ever faces.

Although PIA doesn't innovate as much as IPVanish, it offers easier to understand, and reliable service. IPVanish offers more options, but these often mean it's harder to understand and has a higher barrier to entry for new VPN users.

PIA receives a 4.4 rating out of 5 because of the consistency of their customer service. Though its faults are somewhat numerous, none of them are significant detriments to the service. Likewise, it has many positive features that are critical for a VPN, but none of them stand out or are significantly different from the competition.

If Media Is Your Highest Concern, Choose IPVanish

If you primarily use your device to stream or enjoy media content, then IPVanish can look a lot more favorable. It not only supports most media platforms, but it also offers more subscription options and seems to treat customer choice as a more important factor overall.

It also supports video gaming and other interactive mediums. PIA doesn’t support streaming mediums, so IPVanish is effectively two steps ahead here. The tradeoff caused by their limited server space can mean higher pricing or choked service at times though, which mitigate this boon.

It receives a 4.3 rating out of 5 because while it has more dramatic faults, its unique features also shine quite brightly. If IPVanish can expand their number of servers, and improve their basic service, their rating will likely rise higher and surpass PIA.


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